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06.02.2015 14:25    Comments: 0    Categories: Writing Quotations      Tags: elinor glyn  supernatural story  horror story  

The Supernatural, or Horror Story. In constructing a story of the supernatural, a device is involved which, if it be not taken into account, will leave the author's "ghost" story lusterless. This device is that of making all the mystery, the causation of the horror, an "unknown" quantity, a thing of Doubt. The reader must not be allowed to catch a view of the thing from which springs the horror of the story, else all suspense will collapse. Unless the author is very clever indeed he will not be able to explain away an anachronism of Nature which he might unheedingly allow to appear before the eyes of several people. Rather he must leave his ghosts, his strange noises, his weird wailing, and the gnashing of teeth, to dark, empty chambers, to dank, winding cellars and underground chambers, whispering forests, eerie moors, or to mysterious deserted battlements of partly dismantled castles, their proper breeding places. The illusion of suspense and horror is broken immediately the reader knows just what it is that causes the furori of terrible emotion on the part of the characters, and, incidentally, the reader himself. The reader may know eventually just what the mystery is, but that is the end of the story; after he does know, he is no longer interested in that particular story, for his curiosity has been fully quenched.


~Elinor Glyn

From "The Elinor Glyn System Of Writing"



Elinor Glyn




Elinor Glyn, née Sutherland (17 October 1864 – 23 September 1943), was a English-born journalist, novelist, screenwriter, and actress who pioneered mass-market women’s erotic fiction. Born Elinor Sutherland, she coined the use of 'It' as a euphemism for sex appeal. Novelist and scriptwriter who specialised in romantic fiction which was considered scandalous for its time. She popularized the concept of It. Although her works are relatively tame by modern standards, she had tremendous influence on early 20th century popular culture and perhaps on the careers of notable Hollywood stars such as Rudolph Valentino, Gloria Swanson and Clara Bow in particular.

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